Did you enjoy my last blog post? The one about how we were now in the Fostering world….
I posted that last Wednesday. I had written the post after we had a little boy during an emergency respite placement and then sat on the post for about a week before posting it.
That was Wednesday.
Let’s back up a moment….
For months, the birth families coming into our adoption agency were only open to adoptive families with no children. That is fine! Our journey to Zora was 2 1/2 years and God was faithful the whole time. He knew our daughter was Zora before our journey to her ever began. I knew that if we were waiting this time, God wanted us to.
I know He is sovereign. I know He is in control.
The tug on our hearts to consider foster care kept growing and all of that is written in the last blog post I wrote 😉
So here we were. Certified as Foster Parents…or rather, “Parents as Tender Healers.” And, on the waiting list with our adoption agency. Knowing that if we received a placement with our adoption agency, to notify our foster agency, and if we received a foster placement (any placement other than respite), to let our adoption agency know.
Our Adoption Home Study was coming close to expiring. Zane and I had decided that if our Home Study expired, then instead of renewing we would take it as God completely moving us into fostering.
And we were okay with that! Again, God has done so much in our hearts and He is the Potter. We are the clay. Honestly, we just believed adoption wasn’t going to happen.
Yet, we, and our Foster Agency, were also a little confused that the only children coming into care were out of what we were certified for, minus respite situations. Again, the Lord is the Potter. We are the clay. We were waiting on someone, or someones, and only He knew what His plan would unfold…and when.
Then, I posted that blog post last Wednesday.
On Thursday, about 3 p.m., an email came through from our adoption agency. My phone was at 1%. I read it one time. I couldn’t reread anything, call Zane, text Zane, nothing. I read that email and my phone immediately died.
And I laughed out loud. I was in the drive thru at McDonald’s and an employee could see this cautious joy in me, and asked if I wanted to share. I blurted out something like, “we are an adoptive family and would love to adopt again…and I just got an email saying someone would like to consider us.” Then I laughed again and said, “but I should probably tell my husband before I start telling people I don’t know in front of my kids!” Yes, my KIDS! Who were right there in the car with me and as the realization of what I just said crawled through their minds, they each began squealing that YES! “We should say YES!”
I was on my way to the church for a Staff Meeting and Zane was on his way to the church to grab the kids for me. When I saw Zane, I ran to him and said, “Do you want to adopt a baby? We’ve been asked if our profile can be shown. But my phone died so I couldn’t call you.”
Of course, I had to repeat myself. Because we simply weren’t expecting this. I cannot even describe how surprised we were by this.
We got to my computer, read all the stuff…wrote an email back that yes, our profile could be shown, and asking some follow up questions.
And truly believed the birth mother would choose someone else.
We waited all weekend. I told a few people, and said that I fully believed we wouldn’t be chosen, but I’d love it if they would keep Mother and Baby in their prayers. Then Monday morning came, and I was filled with great anticipation. Again, I believed we would not be chosen, but every.time.my.phone.made.a.noise, my heart would stop.
Then, the call came. I was snuggled up next to Zora helping her with some art, when a “901” area code came through on my phone. I simply said, “Hello.”
You know what call I’m talking about. The one we spoke of 3 years and 4 months ago. The call that our daughter was born. <–you can read it right there just for fun and memories.
The director of our agency said, “Hi, Emmie. Do you have a few minutes to talk?”
And I knew. Right then, I knew. Our journey had taken a sharp turn from the blog post I had written less than a week prior…and God was revealing His plan.
A few minutes of talking turned into over thirty minutes, followed by me calling Zane…then calling Zane again…then texting Zane…then just picking up the phone and Marco Polo’ing my friend Rebecca, because I had to tell SOMEONE and my husband was slammed in meetings…
The next few hours were such a blur. Which rolled into the next few days. The realization that the wrong date was on our Home Study packet and we had to reupdate…NOW. And that was on top of the mountains of paperwork I already had to review and fill out along with Zane. And finding out *exactly* how much we had already to apply toward this adoption and how much still remained to come up with.
Then, the planning to travel to meet her. To meet our birth mother! This is such new territory. We didn’t have such an opportunity with Zora’s birth parents. This mother wanted to meet us! She hugged me. We shed tears. She hugged me so tightly, and we embraced for several moments, this child we both love held inside her womb, right underneath both of our hearts as our arms remained wrapped around each other.
^I cannot put into words the powerful and humbling feeling that washed over me. And that continued to flow throughout my heart all of yesterday and today.
I cannot put into words the beautiful honesty from my husband’s lips as he looked her in the eye and told her that SHE matters. That yes, we will love this child as much as our other children, but that this isn’t just about him. This is about HER too. And she is LOVED, and CARED FOR, and she MATTERS! So much. She is family to us TOO.
There was so much about the meeting that I will cherish in my heart and in my private journals, that she shared with us, that we shared with her….but those two things….boy do they stand out to me. The tangible pain and love that is felt through the adoption process.
Every journey is different. So much of this journey reminds me of our journey to Zora. And yet so much of the journey is different. Every child of ours is different. And the story of how God brought each of them to us is different. Two bios. Two adopted. Each with their own story.
Each, a story of such infinite grace.
We did not know our daughter was alive until she was two days old. Yesterday, I saw our son’s mother wince as he jabbed her in the ribs. I did not arrive at the hospital until our daughter was two weeks and one day old. For him, if the Lord gets me there on time, I will be holding this brave, courageous woman’s hand as she labors. Her choice. Her beautiful request. And one that I am honored to abide.
So much to process. I’m still processing.
Here are some ways to pray:
**Pray for Birth Mother. She is in her last weeks of pregnancy and she feels it! And there will be grief, I’m sure. She loves her son. Please pray for her health, for her heart, for all that she is feeling and thinking. Pray that the Lord surrounds her with people who care for HER and love HER and that He gives her comfort and peace that passes all understanding. Pray for the delivery, for her safety. Pray for doctors and nurses to give her honor and respect at.all.times.
**Pray for Baby Boy! He is growing and from his ultrasound yesterday, he just might be a big boy! Pray that he gets the nutrients that he needs and the Lord protects him as he gets ready to come into the world. Pray that the Lord is already preparing his heart to receive our love, to understand his Birth Mother’s love for him, and for his story to be written in grace always.
**Pray for us. We have a lot to still do. We praise the Lord that his room is already set up (because we had to be ready for a foster placement at any.time.of.day). Pray for finances to come in. For us to receive grants. For people to give. There is a tab at the top of this page that you can donate through. You can also go straight to our Go Fund Me page to give a donation. If you would like a tax deductible receipt, you can send one by check directly to our agency and 100% will go toward us bringing our son home. Pray for us to get the rest we need leading up to us having a newborn again! Our children are so excited, but soon, there will be a little one who is getting most of the attention and most of the snuggles. Pray for all of us to be patient with each other and give grace to one another. As for now, I’m getting in extra snuggle time with each child throughout the day. Time is fleeting and I need to snag all.of.the.moments.
We were a family of 5 last weekend when we had our dear friend Brandy take our annual pictures. We joked about if we should put a giant question mark on a chalkboard since we had no idea what God would do.
Perhaps we should’ve used the chalkboard after all.
**All photos taken by Brandy Fentress Photography. She is HIGHLY recommended 🙂